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Rain fury: Crops on 50K hectares damaged in Gujarat

 After the massive rainfall that caused heavy flooding in central and South Gujarat, the state government's primary estimate is that the standing crop on 50,000 hectares has been damaged.

Rain fury: Crops on 50K hectares damaged in Gujarat

The horticulture crop in Central Gujarat has borne the maximum damage, whereas in South Gujarat the officers fear a huge damage to oilseeds, grains and pulses. Officers also said this was a primary estimate based on rainfall and water stagnation in the fields, and in many villages survey teams are yet to reach because of waterlogging issues.

"If you talk about South Gujarat, cotton, paddy, Tuvar and Soybean crops are at risk, now it all depends on how long the rainwater remains stagnant. As far as the sugarcane crop is concerned no farmers have complained so far," said Jayesh Patel, president of the Gujarat Khedut Samaj.

According to the state Agriculture Department records, cotton sowing in Central and South Gujarat is 1,22,000 hectares, Soybean on 29,600 hectares and paddy cultivation on 77,700 hectares. Farmers fear that if water stagnation continues for a longer period, it can do huge damage to these crops.

"In Chhotaudepur district till July 11, sowing was on 81,100 hectares that includes horticulture on 26,600 hectares. Primary estimate is that crops on 20,000 hectares are damaged by the heavy rain," said Krunal Patel, District Agriculture Officer.

He has formed 34 teams to conduct surveys of the entire district, of which 12 teams are dedicated to the Bodeli taluka which is the worst affected. Each team comprises five members. In this district, banana plantation and horticulture crops have been affected.

In Bodeli taluka farmers have suffered huge losses, kalubhai Rathva, a farmer from Bodeli said his banana cultivation was due for harvest, he had planted banana seven acres of land, for which he had invested Rs 20 lakh, his six buffaloes two have died in flood water, now he and his family will survive is big question for him.

"The damage is not only to crops, land erosion is a big issue in Narmada district. Sand has covered hundreds of acres of agricultural land, on which now cultivation will be an issue," said Rajni Vasava from Dediapada Taluka.

In Narmada district cultivation has taken place on 68,764 hectares of land, including horticulture crops on 9,610 hectares. At least 10 per cent of horticulture crop is damaged because Karjan Dam's floodgates were opened, said V.P. Patel, district agriculture officer. Once the water recedes in villages, his team will be able to start the damage survey.

The Valsad district Agriculture officer A.K. Garasia is going to conduct a survey in all 470 villages and has formed 16 teams. "The problem is that still many villages are submerged, and roads are not motorable. In Valsad, rainwater will damage Tuvar and paddy more than horticulture. Because the main crops in the horticulture sector are Mangoes, Sapota and Sugarcane, which will be less affected by water stagnation," said Garasia.

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